Football: Chile fixture confirmed as Football Ferns begin build-up to Paris Olympics

Football NZ has confirmed a fixture for the national women's team against Chile, as they begin their build-up towards next year's Paris Olympics.

Last seen, the Football Ferns were bundled out of poolplay at their home World Cup tournament, despite a historic opening victory over Norway and draw against Switzerland, who both progressed to knockout rounds.

Those results - and a shock loss to Philippines - have seen them hold steady at No.26 in the world, 15 spots ahead of Chile, who failed to reach the tournament, after finishing fifth at the Copa America Femenina and then losing a playoff qualifier to Haiti.

Football Ferns regroup from their World Cup exit.
Football Ferns regroup from their World Cup exit. Photo credit: Getty Images

The South Americans did qualify for the 2019 World Cup in France and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, without breaking out of pool stages.

The first-ever international meeting between NZ and Chile women has been scheduled for September 23 (NZ time) at Sanitago, with a further behind-closed-doors meeting three days later.

"After an amazing FIFA Women's World Cup, the most important thing for the team is that we keep up the momentum," said NZ coach Jitka Klimkova. "I'm delighted to announce our next international fixtures.

"Olympic qualifying isn't far away, so it is important that we start the process now. We are committed to our growth, we want to qualify so we can represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the Olympic Games in France next year.

"The support from our fans and the entire country during the FIFA Women's World Cup was incredible. I know the team can't wait to put the Fern on again and get out on the pitch."

The Oceania Olympic qualifying tournment will be staged between February 5-March 10 next year.